We live in a world of opposites … good and evil, night and day, up and down, leadership and self-aggrandizement. Nothing has meaning except the meaning that each individual applies to an action, a thought, or a word. Leadership means so many different things to as many individuals. A quick survey on a busy street will reveal a different response from each individual polled. All of us have a loose idea of what it is or what we think it should be.
Textbook definitions are “a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal” (Northouse, 2007, p.3) or “the ability to obtain followers” (Maxwell, 1993, p.) is the ability to obtain followers. These definitions allow persons like Hitler, Jim Jones or Stalin, who did much to harm the world, to be classified as leaders. Let’s give new meaning to the word leadership.
When I think of leaders, I think of persons who have gone beyond themselves to serve the greater good. I think of persons who motivate and inspire their followers to achieve great results by connecting with them, building relationships, and empowering them. These persons are integruous, passionate, driven, and creative. Such a leader engages the heart, calls people to act in accordance with their highest values, does not settle, and paints a vivid picture of a better tomorrow (Hyatt, 2010). In this regard, I define leadership as the process of achieving results for the greater good under the guidance of an influential individual who develops effective relationships and rewards results.
To Your Unlimited Possibilities!